This year’s scholarships have been awarded to Cameron Dickey from Grey District, Jack Dennehy-Coles from Westland District, Emily O’Loughlin from Buller District, and Charlotte Sweney, the recipient of the regional scholarship. Additionally, a new annual scholarship sponsored by WMS Group has been awarded to Kaira Lourie from Westland High School.
The scholarships are designed to grow and retain highly talented West Coast youth in the region by removing barriers to training and employment.
Valued at up to $32,500 per student, the scholarships offer more than just financial assistance. They include summer work opportunities and a guarantee of employment in the West Coast upon completion of the recipients' tertiary education.
Chief Executive Heath Milne said DWC received 33 scholarship applications, “all of a really high calibre.”
“This is definitely one of the highlights of our year at DWC. Reviewing the applications drives home how much talent we've got here on the Coast. It's incredibly important that we find ways to retain these amazing young Coasters in our communities.
“Many of our best and brightest have to go out of the region for university and too many don’t come back. The scholarships are about encouraging them to come back to the Coast.
"There are plenty of great career paths to explore here. We've got businesses, both well-established and progressive, who are on the lookout for skilled staff to help meet their growth aspirations."
Milne expressed enthusiasm about WMS Group coming on board offering another annual scholarship. He highlighted the importance of this scholarship in nurturing local talent, to support an exciting new industry in the region.
DWC vocational coordinator Jade Mahuika said, “we look forward to working alongside these outstanding individuals over the next four years.”
Into its third year, there are now 12 DWC scholarship recipients.
“It’s exciting to think about the value and impact these talented rangatahi will make right here in our region,” Mahuika added.
Grey District Scholarship
Cameron Dickey will be perusing Health Science majoring in Medicine at University of Otago.
Cameron has a passion for healthcare and a strong intertest in studying medicine. His healthcare journey started at the age of just six years old, when he became an active member of St. John. He has represented the South Island as part of the regional team at national St John competitions. The Greymouth High School graduate is a natural leader and currently works as a respite carer at Te Nikau Hospital in the dementia unit.
West Coast Regional Scholarship
Charlotte Sweney will be pursuing a Bachelor of Environmental Management at Lincoln University.
Charlotte, from Hokitika, is a natural leader taking on numerous roles at St Margaret's College, including peer support leader, house and boarding council, service council member, and Head of Kowai Boarding. Beyond her valuable contributions to her school, she has a deep love for the West Coast's natural environment. Recognising the importance of sustainability, she aspires to contribute to future-proofing the region for younger generations.
Westland District Scholarship
Jack Dennehy-Coles will be pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Ag. and Professional Accounting at Lincoln University.
Jack was born and raised in Whataroa on a dairy farm, with an extensive knowledge in agriculture. He excels academically and in sports, serving as head boarder, school prefect, and junior rugby coach at St Bede's College. He is an excellent role model and mentoring and coaching the younger students.
Buller District Scholarship
Emily O'Loughlin will be pursuing a Bachelor of Sports Coaching majoring in Physical Education at University of Canterbury.
Emily has a passion for sports, having represented Reefton Area School and the West Coast at numerous tournaments, excelling as a key player in the Stoke-Nayland under 18s women's rugby team and earning a spot in the Tasman Makos under-18 wahine rep squad. Beyond her sporting achievements, Emily maintains an impressive academic record while taking on leadership, mentoring, and coaching roles at her school.
WMS Group Scholarship
Kaira Lourie will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geology at University of Canterbury
Kaira, the Deputy Head at Westland High School, is a high-achieving student who excels in academics and sports. She has earned numerous awards, including the Spirit of Adventure Voyage, reflecting her outstanding work ethic. With a passion for earth science, she looks forward to learning more about how the earth works.
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